Christmas Brides

& others. St. Martin's Paperbacks. Nov. 2014. 384p. ISBN 9781250060563. pap. $7.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466866003. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
Four veteran historical authors put a holiday spin on this spirited collection of Regency-era novellas that sweep readers from the Scottish Highlands to the Isle of Wight (and points in between) and into a diverting assortment of romantic adventures. A runaway kidnap victim finds shelter—and more—with a virile, protective highlander in Enoch's "One Hot Scot"; an ailing father triples his daughter's dowry in Alexandra Hawkins's danger-tinged "Once upon a Christmas Scandal"; a winter storm on a windswept isle brings a romantic twist to a pragmatic betrothal in Elizabeth Essex's enchanting "The Scandal Before Christmas"; and a faux courtship turns real, thanks to mistletoe and a mysterious cat, in Valerie Bowman's "It Happened Under the Mistletoe."
VERDICT Sassy, witty, and scandal laced, this diverse quartet of seasonal sparklers has something for everyone and will be at home in most popular romance collections.
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